Behe and His Critics

We are ENV again today:

Looking forward to the release of Darwin Devolves , I noticed that computational biologist Joshua Swamidass at Washington University claims that Michael Behe avoids engaging critics. What?! Swamidass lodges the same charge against Douglas Axe. This is so plainly false it just about made my jaw fall open:

My concerns about Behe and Axe are more substantial than the wording of a phrase here or there. Having seen a preprint of his book, I’m very concerned about Behe’s unwillingness to engage with critics. I am doubly concerned about Axe’s unwillingness.

Swamidass, writing at Peaceful Science , subsequently added a note of correction, partly taking it back.

Both have selectively engaged at times with scientists in the past. The concern here is in the response to requests to engage and clarify over the last several years.

Biologist Ann Gauger notes in response to Swamidass, “To accuse [Behe and Axe] of making an end run around the scientific establishment is disingenuous. They have already faced the scientific establishment.” Whether the subject is Behe or Axe’s work, there is plenty to argue about, but that is inarguable.

A half-hearted effort from Klinghoffer to plug the new book.

Congratulations! I hope that the new Behe book is something actually new and not a recycled argument that has been addressed by the scientific community that appears to cherry pick a few results while ignoring vast swathes of other experimental evidence.

We will share about it more once the book is published end of February. Looking forward to it.

I don’t have very high expectations. Just recounting engagements with Thornton and Miller (some of many) to name two and counter responses from DI/Behe, what is going to change? The same arguments appear to occur over and over again in an endless cycle while the scientific community actually continues to learn things.


This is worth repeating. Yes both Behe and Axe published their ideas in the primary scientific literature. Science examined the claims and firmly rejected them both based on the evidence not supporting the grandiose ID conclusions. Instead of doing additional scientific work to correct the flaws Axe and Behe both chose to write popular press layman’s books where they simply repeated the already scientifically rejected claims. To everyone in science I know that constitutes an “end run” around science. That is what is really inarguable.


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